Women's Writes - Works

Women's Writes

Well-behaved women seldom make history.
— Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Posts tagged Women's History Month
Day 31

Kathleen locked the door of her office for the last time, resisting the urge for one last look around. There wasn’t anything left to see. All her things, her special touches accumulated over the years, were packed and in her car. It was just a bare office now, a desk and some assorted bookshelves and cabinets, ready for her predecessor. If she started down nostalgia lane, she would never make the party. It wasn’t good to be late when you were the guest of honor. Everyone would be waiting.

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Day 30

The sound of the guns grew closer. The cannons in the distance still roared, but more frightening were the close battles. Who was winning? The small hut shook with the force of the explosions that hit too close for comfort, and the women clapped their hands over their ears to protect them from the sound, so loud it hurt. Somewhere in the huddle, a child began to cry, her wails joining the general noise surrounding them. Annalee motioned to the girl’s mother; she needed to keep the child quiet.

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Day 29

Whitney stood out in a crowd, and she knew it. At six foot three, people noticed her. No matter how she tried to hide, everyone saw her. Scrunching down only made her height more obvious. Today, though, no one looked her way. She moved into the lobby with a confident swing in her step, hands hanging at her sides, without a single whistle or wow, look at that woman escaping anyone’s lips.

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Day 28

Getting the idea of making it part of the continually swelling Feminazi cycle gave me the ability to get it written. The impetus was seeing too many plays where the idea of surrogacy was presented as some sort of beautiful thing that some middle class woman did for her middle class friend, when the reality is much worse. Often the women are poor, and need the money. Feminazi comes out better than many of them do because she has a support system that can help her out, but it still isn’t a particularly healthy or desirable situation for a woman. So I wanted to tell the story more…realistically. I now present for you: Feminazi has a baby.

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Day 27

Badger was late today. Where was he? She was getting hungry, and she knew she wouldn’t get dinner until he was home. He liked to eat dinner with her. He said she made him happy. He was such a happy Badger now that he had Hope, that’s what he always said to her. She hoped nothing was wrong to make him an angry Badger. Sometimes when he was angry, he forgot himself and hurt her. But when he was a happy Badger, everything was good.

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Day 25

Her hiding place had been discovered. What was she going to do now? She held her breath; the footsteps passed by. He hadn’t found her. She flattened her body smaller and tried to imagine herself squeezing through the crack at the back of the room, small, smaller, small enough…no, of course she couldn’t. That was ridiculous. But she couldn’t sit here all day, either. Sooner or later, if he kept opening doors and looking under furniture, he would discover her.

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Day 23

Oh, God, he said it. Most of the men left it unsaid, but he had to go there. The lamest line he could have started the conversation with, and he had to reach for that one, stupid phrase. The phrase she hated most in the entire world. She had no idea how to answer such a question. Should she deny she was pretty? Or should she try to explain it away, to explain that pretty women could be smart, talented, capable? Or just…make a joke? That last was impossible. She had never been able to think of a good joke to answer that question.

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Day 19

Men were definitely in the minority in this waiting room. Taking a quick inventory, I determined that men made up less than ten percent of the waiting group. Young women were scattered around the group, mostly alone or with another woman. Many of the women were accompanied by older women, perhaps their mothers. A few women waited with women their own age, and it was difficult to determine which was the patient and which the friend. The few men who were there shifted their weight uncomfortably, feeling out of place in this congregation of women. This was a place meant for women, and their nervous energy showed they understood that.

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Day 17

The entrance to the tunnel was her only way out. She clawed at the sides, hoping to widen the space because it was too small for her to move forward any further. She worked furiously, not caring that the rocks were ripping her hands to shreds, not noticing the dirt filling her mouth and eyes. The more she worked, the narrower the tunnel seemed to become. Still she dug and clawed, hoping to move forward at last.

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Day 16

Most people are aware of Jacob as the man who worked fourteen years to earn the wife he wanted, battled an angel, and gave a coat of many colors to his son Joseph. But most people are not aware of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. In fact, when I discussed this play with a friend of mine, told her what I was writing, she denied that any such story existed. Most of the plays I’ve written in this series are met with the same disbelief. “Nope, no such story. I’ve read the Bible, and I never saw it. So not there.” If you doubt my veracity once reading this story, go get your Bible off the shelf, blow off the dust, and open it to Genesis 34. I think you’ll find…well, the story of a woman, and how the world responded to her in the brief time they bothered to notice her.

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Day 14

“You had to go and do it, didn’t you? I always said it, didn’t I? I always said you’d be late to your own wedding!”

Mandy didn’t answer. She slumped into the chair in the corner, too exhausted to stand. Mom prodded at her; she needed to put on her gown and get out there. She was already 45 minutes late. Logan would leave if she didn’t hurry. Why did she always have to do this? Why did she always have to inconvenience everyone? Why couldn’t she just be like her sisters, and show up eager for her wedding, put on a gorgeous white gown, and prance down the aisle in happy anticipation?

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Day 13

The test was ready when she got out of the shower. Her heart dropped as she glared at the faint pink line. This was a disaster. If she couldn’t afford birth control pills, how were they ever going to afford another child? She bundled the test up in the trash, pulled the bag out of the can, and deposited it in the can by the curb. No one would see it…no one would know. That wouldn’t help, she thought. It would be hard enough to hide soon. Besides, who was she hiding it from? It wasn’t like she had anything to be ashamed of…and it wasn’t like she could do anything about it. She hollered to Charlie that she was going to bed early, to not let the kids stay up past nine, and that she would be up early to go to work, so she was sleeping in Meg’s room tonight. She would rather sleep with Meg right now than Charlie.

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Day 11

It all started when I got married. Menelaus, that’s my husband. He was the king of Sparta. I was told I would be happy. I was told I would learn to love him…or at least to tolerate him and be able to stand it when he put his hands all over me. I was told all sorts of things. I was just a girl. I was too young to be getting married. I should have still been playing, making daisy chains, laughing with my girlfriends. But there I was, packed off to live with a man much older than me, a man I didn’t know, a man who didn’t really know how to love. I was a possession, a trophy. He paraded me through the streets of town to show everyone how beautiful I was, then locked me away to make sure no one could look at me.

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Day 10

Alameda sorted out the books, carefully arranging them in alphabetical order. Tomorrow she would need to take them back to the library. She needed more; she had read all of these. She fingered the title of each book, wanting to commit it to memory, wanting to never forget anything she read. Someday it might be useful. Someday she might need this knowledge. At nine, Alameda was already committed to a life of learning. She had selected three colleges that she was interested in attending, and was doing her best to keep her grades high enough to get accepted. It wasn’t easy, especially sharing her room with two sisters who tended toward noise, and the long list of chores each of them completed every night. It could be hard keeping up with her homework with a nine o’clock curfew, but somehow she always got it done.

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